So, are you seeing anyone?

As a perpetually single lady in her mid-twenties, I find social gatherings like weddings, work functions, and/or family birthdays challenging. And by challenging, I mean that it’s challenging trying not to punch every single person who asks me if I’m with someone yet really hard in the face. Because apparently violence is not socially acceptable.

What gets to me is that there is always a sympathetic ‘aww’ to follow my firm ‘nope’ when answering that sodding question. Like it’s a bad thing that I’m not seeing someone. It makes me feel like my life should be defined by a man. Why is that a thing? I get that meeting someone you actually get along with and procreating is what life is all about for some people – and probably me, when the time comes – but at the moment, it’s not that high on my list of priorities, actually.

 

It makes me feel like my life should be defined by a man. Why is that a thing?


 

I’m not a bitter singleton. I get on with my friends who have partners just as well as I did when they were single, and I’m genuinely happy for them. I’m not the stereotyped caricature of a man-hating feminist; I’m not against the very thought of having a man in my life; and I do go on dates.

But I’m single for many reasons – too many, really, to go into now; but one of those is that I’m actually quite happy on my own, thank you very much.

we need to let go of this negative knee jerk reaction attached to being single


Shocking, right?

This tiresome question, it seems to me, is prevalent at weddings. Yeah, I get it, it’s a day of love and a celebration of coupledom and all that jazz but here’s the thing, people. I can relate to being in love and revel in the joy of matrimony EVEN IF I’M NOT WITH SOMEONE. A wedding doesn’t make me wish I had a boyfriend, or make me frantically sign up to (ahem, re-download) all those recommended dating apps on my phone, or even cry hysterically in the bathroom over that shit-head I dumped five years ago, with some toilet paper stuck in my ponytail like a veil. The reaction from people to my status, however, does make me feel shitty. It makes me want to paint my face, make a bone spear out of a previous boyfriend’s appendage,and descend into a man-free pit for the rest of my life, war crying all the way, just to prove a point.

Here’s the thing – and pay attention, because I’ll only say this once – your relationship status is in no way any measure of you as a person or, for that matter, anyone’s business.

I understand that it’s a very generic question for people to ask, especially far flung relatives with nothing better to say, and 90% of the time it’s not in a malicious way. But there are other topics of conversation that have nothing to do with my love life – or ‘lack thereof’.

“I’ve been doing really well at work, I have a very interesting job, my brother is doing well thanks, so are my friends, yes I have actually moved out of my parents house finally, I’m enjoying living in London a lot. In fact, I’ve made it my mission to to drink the bar dry of every cocktail establishment in the central vicinity of the city – would you like some recommendations?”

That, my fair ladies and gentlemen, is a good hour’s worth of decent discussion not related to a potential ring on a choice finger that isn’t my preferred middle one.

 

your relationship status is in no way any measure of you as a person or, for that matter, anyone’s business.


 

The point I’m trying to make is that we need to let go of this negative knee jerk reaction attached to being single. Especially when asking someone about their situation. They might be happy as I am, or sad, or angry, or just plain indifferent, but it’s up to them to decide the parameters of disclosing those feelings to you. AND FOR THE LOVE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (vodka) don’t make them feel like their feelings are wrong or bad. They’re not. Being single isn’t bad or depressing or wrong. Neither is being so in love it makes people want to throw a Nicholas Sparks book at your head. In fact both can make you feel strong, and liberated and free.

So next time you feel the need to ask if someone is seeing anyone – Don’t. Stop. Think. And get a glass of wine instead. We’ll all benefit from less negativity and more wine.

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Rape is my responsibility

By Hannah Bundock

Rape is my responsibility. Now there’s a statement that’s going to make lots of people angry, but hear me out.

I’m not agreeing with the misogynistic people out there who state that if I dress a certain way I’m ‘asking for it’. I’m not someone who believes a woman must act demure and reserved if she wishes to avoid unwanted sexual advances. No, I believe that a woman should be able to dress how she like and be as flirty and fun as she pleases and still be safe. Hell, even if I’m butt arse naked and laying on a bed, it’s still my prerogative to change my mind. It’s my decision; no one has the right to take that away from me. One day I want to live in a world where men and women appreciate that simple concept and therein lays my responsibility.

You see, I’m a Mum, to a beautiful energetic, exhausting, infuriating little boy whom I love with all my heart and he is my responsibility. At the moment he is only little, but one day he will be a grown up. As foreign as the idea may seem to me, one day he will be a man talking to women and it is my responsibility to ensure that when that day comes, he knows how to treat a woman with respect and as an equal. It’s my job to teach him that he should not expect anything from a woman, just because she’s wearing a short skirt or because she’s kissed him.

Telling kids that they have to let people to touch them to avoid being rude is a dangerous message.


His lessons will begin before he even realises. If I am tickling him and he tells me to stop,  I will stop. Simple enough, but it teaches him that no means no. If I continued to tickle him once he’d asked me to stop with the justification ‘but you didn’t really mean it’, what sort of behaviour am I teaching him? I wont make him kiss or hug people he does not want to. Telling kids that they have to let people to touch them to avoid being rude is a dangerous message. When he is older he won’t call girls in his class ‘slags’ without me rebuking him and god help him if he tries telling rape jokes. Grounded for a week!

Yes,  rape is my responsibility because (as much as I hate to admit it) I’m an adult, and I am responsible for the next generation. We all are. They watch us and learn from us. I want the sickening statistic  that 1 in every 4 women in the UK will be sexually assaulted to change, and that will only happen if we change. No more slut shaming,  no more laughing at inappropriate jokes just to fit in, no more pretending it’s not to do with us. It’s on us guys, men and women alike. We are responsible.

5 Reasons Your Baby is a Bigger Dick Than Your Ex

By Anna Hook

The human experience is vast. People take such different paths in life, and even if outwardly it seems similar, I can guarantee emotions and personalities make even the simple things vary wildly from person to person. There are very few things you can be absolutely certain of. You just can’t understand other people and the lives they lead. Even the line ‘only two things are certain,  death and taxes’, isn’t accurate…..*cough* google *cough*.

That said, there are three things that I can say without a doubt. These three things are universal and I speak for all women. 1) you have (at least) one boyfriend/girlfriend that ruined your life for a period of time. For ease we shall refer to this cockwomble as ‘Steve’. 2)  if you have a baby, you will love that tiny thing unconditionally and nothing will make you more content than their squishy face. 3) your baby, your little bundle, the light of your life, is a far bigger dickhead than your ex. You might query my number three, but it’s true. Here is why.

  1. Your baby takes all your food. That last cake you wanted. The crispy corner bit of the lasagne. Not yours. That’s for your kid now. Yup. And they won’t even appreciate it. They’ll chew it and spit it out and cry for whatever you’ve got. At least Steve always ordered good food you could eat from his plate. And calories from other people food doesn’t count (well known fact) so his chocolate was fat free. The guy might’ve been a twat, but you always got the last slice of pizza.
  2. Your child is brutal. Expect a lot of “mummy, why are you so hairy” and “mummy, your bum is MASSIVE.” At least your ex whispered those sweet lies, “of course you don’t look fat in that”.
  3. Your baby doesn’t care how much they upset you and there is nothing you can do about it. You had the option to kick Steve to the curb after you found out he was sending dick pics to the slag from his office AGAIN. Ignore his apologies, eat Ben and Jerry’s, and after 6 months and maybe keying his car, you’re over him. There is no getting over your baby. Your baby will leave you in a crumbling heap on the floor because they have told you again that they don’t love you. They won’t care if they break the vase that was a family heirloom or lose the first thing hubby ever got you. Your baby considers you less than Steve ever did. That includes when he was chasing skirt at the work Christmas do.
  4. The scars are visible. Sure Steve left you with crippling trust issues and a jealousy problem that means your other half has to sleep on the sofa every time the PPI sales call is made by a woman, but all that is bottled up under the surface just like it should be. The scars from your baby are right on the surface. Sure most people won’t see the episiotomy scar, but the one on your head that you got after a twatting with the unreasonably heavy batman figure……everyone can see it. No amount of drinking will cover it up like Steve’s wounds, and your eyebrow will never grow the same again. Sorry love.
  5. Your baby is ultimate bad penny. Steve showed up once a year, sent the odd I Miss You text but eventually he fucked off. Your baby won’t do that. He will never leave. Right now baby ruins date night with a shitty nappy. In 30 years date night will be ruined by a plea for money or unexpected grandchild babysitting. It will never end.

Fear in the City: A response to terrorism

By Georgia Sanders

It’s a tense time to be in London. It’s a tense time to be in any city right now. No, scratch that, it’s a tense time to be a human. (Or an Orca, but that’s a blog for another day).

Today, I was waiting for a train. A Northern Line tube train, to be precise, from King’s Cross to Angel. I was running late and didn’t fancy the walk, don’t judge me.

Standing on a platform crowded with tourists and Londoners, the LED sign emblazoned in a bright yet muddy orange the news that the next Morden train would be along in 2 minutes. As the sound of its wheels churning along the metal tracks came into focus to my left, it was over-shadowed by another noise. A man’s voice, that sounded like Siri – calm and robotic.

“All passengers please leave the station due to a reported emergency.”

An alarm sounded. You know the type, the weirdly serene fire alarms they installed in schools about ten years ago to replace the abrasive, clanging metal ones. It took us passengers a moment to register what was being said. I clicked the button on my headphones, pausing Stevie Wonder’s Stevie Ray Blues jam, and pulled the bud from my ear, looking upward as if to see the source of the ominous voice. The message repeated.

“‘Am I above the station?’ my inner monologue panicked. ‘If there’s a bomb under me, will it be powerful enough to kill me?'”


 

“All passengers please leave the station due to a reported emergency.”

It was clearer in my mind, the second time around. The train had stopped and opened its doors, and the crowd looked to one another, uncertain of whether to get on. Some jumped into the carriages, but I, like many others, took to the escalators.

A deathly silence hushed over the swarm of people making their way as swiftly as possible to the exits. My stomach flipped as I moved quickly through the doors and on to King’s Cross Square. I could hear sirens. “Am I above the station?” my inner monologue panicked. “If there’s a bomb under me, will it be powerful enough to kill me?”

Eventually Twitter revealed the situation. Someone had pulled the fire alarm in the station. Whether purposeful or not, it’s not yet known. I was relieved for a minute or two. And then, I was angry.

 

Yesterday, there were bombings in Brussels, killing 31 people, and injuring over 100 others. Daesh has claimed responsibility, yet again. We’ve already seen attacks in Paris, Ankara, Istanbul, to name a few.

Sidebar: These terrorists are not Muslims. They are simply murderers, using a thin veil of religion in order to slaughter innocent men, women and children. To cast aspersions on a faith based on the actions of a few is downright unconscionable, and if it is your opinion that the Islamic faith is to blame for any of these horrific acts, then you are wrong. And perhaps this blog is not the place for you.

I am angry because I am being held hostage by my own fear at the hands of cowards. Caught amidst an ongoing battle between prejudices and the persecuted, whilst terrorism lurks beneath the surface – in my mind, rubbing its hands together and emitting a cartoonish evil-laugh at the division it has succeeded in causing.

 

I am angry because I was afraid to go about my daily business because of the actions of a few – much like so many others in big cities.

I am angry at the legions of people crying “close the borders” and “blame the refugees”, and I am angry at certain media outlets giving inches, and therefore a platform, to these abhorrent, spiteful creatures.

I am angry at the complete lack of understanding from too many. If we are this scared in our country, where the peaceful are many and the security is strong; if we are this scared in a city where checks and response times keep attacks an unlikely occurrence – just how scared do you think those are whom are fleeing from their homes with nothing but clothes and mobile phones? Those whose countries are all but destroyed in pursuit of a non-existent ideology and a thirst for chaos and downfall?

“if we are this scared in a city where checks and response times keep attacks an unlikely occurrence – just how scared do you think those are whom are fleeing from their homes with nothing but clothes and mobile phones?”


Just how scared do you think a Syrian refugee must be to get in a rubber dinghy in an attempt to cross the sea, unsure of whether he’ll survive. Unsure of whether he’ll have safety on the other side. Unsure of whether he’s left everything he knows, loves and owns behind just to be sent straight back to the debris of a city he once loved, once laughed in. To be afraid every moment of every day, the way that I was when I heard that alarm. All because of a group of evil, twisted, murderers.

Now do you understand?

It’s a tough time to be in a city right now?
It’s a tough time to be a human right now.

How I became a converted feminist

By Kelsey Champion

I’m on a bit of a mission to understand the concept of sexism – we all know the basics; sexism is the judgement, mistreatment, and/or stereotyping of a person down to their gender – and it is NOT RIGHT!

I am most certainly not one of those people who are like “vaginas! AMIRITE?!” but I’m also not the “excuse me husband, please may I leave the house?” sort either. I sit somewhere in the middle, a bit like “I personally don’t want to be a firefighter or a police officer, but if Jane Doe does, well you bloody well fight that fire, Jane! You go girl!”

In all honesty, until recent I didn’t really care all that much. “I’m not some feminist warrior” is a terrible thing to say when I am in fact a woman, but being female has never stopped me in life so I took a fairly blinkered approach and decided to ignore it.

“being female has never stopped me in life so I took a fairly blinkered approach and decided to ignore it.”


It wasn’t until I really started to think about it (and talked to my good friend Georgia, the original Sulky Bitch… and she created this blog!) that the concept of sexism came into conversation, when I mentioned a news story I read that morning and (regrettably) said “what’s all the fuss about?”

Well, when someone is actively pushing for equal rights, they generally strive to share the necessary information to ignorant people like me – and that’s exactly what she did. Well, consider me converted! I won’t bog you down with statistics, facts or any opinions because if you care you will find them out for yourself, but I will say that feminism really IS a big deal, despite what I’d previously thought.

wp-1458203986726.png

Here is legitimate example of workplace sexism that a dear friend of mine recently encountered. She works in a male-dominated field (because that is still a thing in 2016, somehow – another clear realisation that something is amiss) and I am devastated to say that when she told me what a colleague said about her, I wasn’t shocked. Don’t get me wrong, I was outraged, who wouldn’t be? But I wasn’t surprised to hear that it had happened. This is verbatim: “that’s where you went wrong; you gave it to a woman! What’s she going to do, paint it pink?!”

I mean…. Really… Seriously….What?! What can you even say to that!? My friend was so gobsmacked she just stared at the guy, and the others around her waiting for someone to comment – they didn’t, they just laughed along. I assume it went something like “chortle chortle fnar fnar, I am the best fnar chortle. Boys rule, girls drool”, but that is, so far, unconfirmed.

Fortunately her boss is a forward-thinking, modern man who was not sent to 2016 from the middle-ages, and has escalated this issue. Thank fuck for that, there is hope!

“This is verbatim: ‘that’s where you went wrong; you gave it to a woman! What’s she going to do, paint it pink?!'”


Now there is a fine line between sexism and tradition, for example is it sexist for a father to walk his daughter down the aisle and ‘give her away’? I would say no, some would say yes. It all depends on motive, intent, and consent. There are certain lines which will always be blurred for some people – that’s not to say everyone does or should think the same, but the key here is that a woman should be doing things merely because that’s her preference – not because she feels she should, culturally or otherwise. And that’s one of the many things that was tripping me up. 

Age, religion, culture, environment, upbringing and so many more factors influence where a person’s traditions and ideals, and for the most part, that is A-OK. What’s not ok is the nay-sayers, the deniers, the ones claiming “we’re already equal” and “sexism isn’t a thing”, trying to piss on the fire of those who are trying to make this world (you know, the one we all live in!!) a better place by addressing issues that effect 50% of the population. 

How can that be a bad thing?

Sidebar:  I am a woman and I like shoes, bags, pink things, kittens and rom-coms. Not I am a woman THEREFORE I like shoes, bags, pink things, kittens and rom-coms. SCHOOLED.

 

12 Things You Learn From Going to a Catholic All Girls’ School

By Nancy Bellis

1) All boys are evil. Except for Jesus.

2) Teacher: “This term we are studying sexual education” translation: “we will spend 6 weeks of learning about intercourse, but only the part that relates to baby making. Which of course you can only do if you’re married. To a man.”

3) After begging parents for singing lessons as an extra-curricular activity, you find that you will only sing hymns. There will be no pop classics here ladies.

4) In physics, Fe somehow stands for iron. In a Catholic girls school, PE somehow stands for netball.

5) Lessons are only 40 minutes long due to the five minutes used to do the register and say the school prayer. This is how we learn to truly appreciate prayer.

6) Teachers will ask you to lift up your jumper to prove your skirt isn’t rolled up, because apparently they don’t realise that teenagers actually grow taller during their time in secondary school.

7) You will never care what you look like as there is no one to impress. Not even yourself, because vanity is a deadly sin. (Unless of course, you’re meeting boys after school.)

8) Mark’s Gospel is the way, the truth and the life. Breath, sleep and read it until it’s imprinted in your mind.

9) You will never be particularly bothered about starting your period during school hours.

10) A mobile phone going off during mass can be disguised by having 20 students simultaneously coming down with a terrible cough.

11) On non-uniform days, the dress code is still enforced. Hard.

12) Everyone has a crush on at least one male teacher, even though there’s only a handful to choose from and they’re all middle-aged or older.

I Am Not A Gym Bunny: An Ode to Sitting

By Kelsey Champion

I think we’re in unanimous agreement that sitting down is just darn great. And don’t get me started on how much I enjoy eating. Sadly, sitting and eating don’t often lead to a healthy lifestyle – could you imagine such a world?

I’m comfortable enough to say that I’m a wobbly, curvy, average woman: my BMI is maybe higher than it should be, as is my weekly alcohol intake. I’m not one of those naturally slim people; I’m a naturally greedy one.

Kate Moss once said ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’. Well, clearly Mossy has never had a medium-cooked beef burger with blue cheese, streaky bacon and chipotle mayo in a brioche bun with hand cut skin on fries dusted with sea salt and rosemary washed down with an ice cold beer…… excuse me a moment….

Recently I’ve realised that being a sloth not only has an impact on my waistline, but also on my mental health (that’s a whole other thing – maybe I’ll charm you with that tale another time). So I decided now was the time to get off the sofa and stop inhaling Kettle Chips like they’re going out of fashion – I mean seriously, who are they kidding then they say ‘share’ bag – and join the gym. After a month of going to the gym at least four times a week, do you know what I realised…? It sucks.

There are many words I would use to describe myself but ‘gym bunny’ is most certainly not one of them. I was always put off of the gym because I knew I would never be one of those people who needed to work out five times a week or got a buzz from having a little vein pop out after a heavy lifting session; I thought if I’m not going to like it, why bother? Well, I’ll tell you a secret… you haven’t GOT to like it, just fricking do it.

A regular workout not only has an effect on your body, but I’ve found it greatly beneficial to my mental state too. I have more energy (yeah, I know, weird right?) and a generally more positive outlook. I feel proud of myself and what I have achieved, even if it’s just sliding my butt off the sofa into some Lycra gym pants and a few pumps on a 5kg dumbbell.

I don’t want to say “ooh look at all the weight I lost” but… well… I did alright. I won’t lie and say it was easy because it sure as shit wasn’t; it was hard, stressful, emotional and down-right dull. But as soon as I accepted my fate and just got on with it, turns out it wasn’t actually that bad. I put too much of a mental block on it and made excuses after excuses “oh well I have a long walk tomorrow, that can be my exercise” or “ok I won’t eat these crisps then I can get away with missing the gym”. Sorry love, doesn’t work that way.

Anyway, to summarise: yes, it’s shit, yes sitting down is better, yes cake is heaven, yes I am going to eat the aforementioned burger for dinner, but the point is, if you’re feeling how I was, just give it a go. It’ll be worth it.

Image from https://www.etsy.com/market/bunny_funny 

A Feminist’s Guide to: Arguing on the Internet

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a feminist in possession of Twitter must be in want of a knife.

With the ever raging battle between Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism Project, Caitlin Moran’s raw, undecorated wit and the ever-growing HeForShe army led by Field Marshall Emma Watson and her “Fuck Yeah”-inducing UN speeches, against a nameless crowd of nay-sayers, fights break out every minute of every day across the Internet (because what is the Internet for if not porn and telling strangers that they’re wrong).

Feminists (both female and male) like you and I are oft to jump to the defence of our ideals, in a moment of sudden, unrelenting rage, the physical effect of which can only be achieved by one word – “meninist”.

Pick your battles

When it comes to Social Media, there’s an abundance of Twitter Twats starkly defending their right to comment on women’s choices and paradoxically insisting that “we’re already equal!”

The real argument lay in the Men’s Rights Activists or “Meninists” – those who pre-prepare twenty thousand ways to ask “so when is International MEN’S Day? Fnar, fnar” (it’s November 18th) and respond to any and all attempts at reason with requests for sandwiches.

It’s difficult to tell, buy these guys are actually crying out for you to correct them. They crave it. It’s scientifically proven* that all angry tweeters just want to be loved – present your case in 140 characters or less and they will see the error of their ways.

Alternatively, save your feminist gusto for those whom are truly mistaken, and not the egg-faced berks who are there for the sole purpose of watching you squirm.

Presenting your case

When arguing with these self-proclaimed maninists, ensure that you first diffuse the situation with a subtle joke about their endowment – something like ‘your penis is demonstrably small and statistically underused’ – whilst waving your vagina proudly in the air. This ought to gain their respect.

Keep the flame burning

It’s easy to let every single one of these plonkers boil your blood to the point of no return – and very possible that you’ll respond to each and every tweet…

Unless, of course, you wish to remain sane. Yes, meninists are dicks (or cunts, let’s not be sexist here) – but 9 times out of 10 their one true goal is to piss us off. Strap on your lady-balls (which are actually small vaginas), take a deep breath, and let it go.

There are still so many important things feminism needs to achieve, and your voice is just as important as the next. Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool if used properly – don’t waste time on the trolls. Keep fighting the good fight, and let’s make a real difference.

Of course it’s forgivable to slip from time to time, and drop a witty quip before floating away on a rainbow cloud of farts.

*May not be real science. May be made up.

18 Thoughts Everyone Has During A Bikini Wax

By Anonymous

Thoughts in my head whilst being waxed:

1. This won’t hurt as much as last time right?

2. Is my bush too much? I’m the hairiest person they’ve ever seen. They’re gonna tell their friends about it.

3. OW.

4. Is this even worth it?

5. OWW.

6. I bet my vagina is super wierd. They’re definitely gonna tell their friends about it.

7. I wonder how many vaginas they’ve seen?

8. I wonder how many people have seen my vagina… Yeah, okay, let’s not get into that.

9. I really don’t care about your holiday plans lady, stop trying to distract me with small talk. It’s not working.

10. Oh that’s not so bad. No, wait, I wish I was dead. Killing me would probably hurt less.

11. Why am I doing this again?

12. Ooh that’s hot. I kinda like it.

13. I really hope I don’t fart.

14. Will she judge me if I cry?

15. Oh god, make it stop.

16. Seriously, why do girls go through this? God gave us hair, we should just embrace it, right? RIGHT?

17. Aaaaand it’s over. Thank the lord.

18. I feel so smooth. So smooth. HEY, HEY YOU, LOOK AT MY SEXY BALD FOOF!

Dog Poisoning Hysteria

By Jeannie Mac

I had seen the stories in the papers a few years ago, thought that’s a bit harsh, who would do that?

I didn’t have a dog back then, once we got our precious puppy in November last year suddenly every dog story in the press became the most important news in the world. I began to obsessively research the stories. It was then that I realised just how many cases of poison had been reported locally. Two dogs had died and many more had been hospitalised as a result from this rash of poisoning last year and its still going on. Not just in one village either – this was a wide spread activity. A whole range of popular dog walking areas had allegedly been targeted by this sicko.

 I began to obsessively research the stories.

Sausages stuffed with drugs were being hidden in the undergrowth, dogs were dying within days of eating this stuff, vets were urging all dog owners to be on the lookout for the symptoms of poisoning.

sausagesOur neighbours had blue pills thrown into their garden, little old ladies are warning us about the places to avoid and apparently the council and police are unable to stop this happening. The local fields, woodlands, open spaces and parks have all received nasty packets of evil. Collections of dog walkers are found scouring local parks to clear out the sausages of doom each time any are spotted. “If only there was CCTV” the police could act!

 

Total hysteria among the dog owning community of which I had been completely ignorant before our fur baby arrived.

fear

The drama…. the fear….. no one was saying yet what those poisoning symptoms were though.

The council officially denied there was a problem a year ago as no one had reporting anything to the Police or Council.

Total hysteria among the dog owning community of which I had been completely ignorant before our fur baby arrived. Can anything be done? Do the majority of people care? Are we forced to keep muzzles on the dogs for ever more?

Personally we are struggling to give our pup a quality of life that doesn’t result in poisoning whilst balancing this against a strong sense of fear and guilt each time we take her for a walk. The alleged poisoner is having a much wider impact by poisoning the joy we should be feeling for our newest family member.